Smoking ban does more harm than good

ELAC Smoking Ban Cartoon by Bryan Pedroza


By Sergio Berrueta

Smoking in colleges has not been a problem for years, but lately colleges and universities across the nation are constantly implementing a smoking ban.

This trend may be taken as a good thing and (East Los Angeles College) has already taken a part in it. Students are clamoring to find out why implementing a smoking ban is being considered. The main reason is to keep a safe and clean location to not harm the health of students and the air they breathe.

The habit of smoking, though considered bad and harmful, helps some people get through the day and takes part in their everyday routine.  The need to implement this ban not only affects students, but it also affects faculty and staff.

There could be smokers among them who see the ban as another obstacle they have to deal with in their personal lives.  It isn’t their fault and they shouldn’t have to be put through public scrutiny because of it.

The ban punishes students with a hard habit to break. However, even though I oppose the ban against smoking, I believe if the campuses are going to ban it, they should at least benefit from it.

I understand there are a few positives to the enforcement of such a ban. For example, the campus can be much cleaner without cigarette butts on the ground and gone will be the lingering smell of tobacco in the air affecting those who inhale it as second-hand smoke.

Some students mind smokers and do not like to be near them because of their habit. If one is in the mood to smoke, heading off campus and away from the civilization that does not smoke should not be a big deal.

Maybe in order to ban smoking, the campuses can offer a service to help smokers quit their habit rather than wave their finger to shame.

Noble Prize Literature winner, Orhan Pamak, when asked about smokers simply replied with “They aren’t running away from the cancer that it might cause, but the smokers themselves.”

Other positive benefits would be to give smokers seen around campus a ticket and use that money to benefit college projects. This can help the campus have a little extra money needed for departments.

Plenty of students do smoke, so the ban is a quick way to take some money from them and put it to great use.

Overall, a smoking ban still tends to do more harm than good. It alienates those who have a habit and pushing them to the side. If a student doesn’t like their habit, fine, get up and get away from them there is no need to tell them it is wrong.

They have their own right and freedom to choose to smoke as the other has the right to choose not to.

Let’s not alienate these students over something they can’t break. It just does not seem like the proper and mature idea to implement.

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